Countless Things to Do Mackinaw City & Petoskey

Never A Dull Moment on the Lake!

For generations, Northern Michigan’s resort towns have welcomed families and vacationers to the shores of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan to relax, reconnect, make new memories and explore countless things to do. From Mackinaw City to Petoskey and all the places in between, you’ll explore a diverse natural landscape of breathtaking beaches, mountains, parks and forests; discover historic places with fascinating stories to tell; and have the chance to do just about everything there is to be done on land, air and water. 

With four distinct seasons, we never close! Stumble into new and exciting adventures. Mingle with friendly locals and make new friends. Toss away your itinerary and see where life takes you. There are more things to do in Mackinaw City and Petoskey than you can possibly imagine, so come explore the magic in Northern Michigan. 


Overlooking the Straits of Mackinac, Mackinaw City is surrounded by the splendor of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Further down south, the resort community of Petoskey is nestled into the protected shores of Lake Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay. No matter which town you visit, you’ll satisfy your craving for sun, sand and surf. Set your chairs and umbrella down on any number of sandy beaches and public parks. Comb over 30 miles of unspoiled Lake Michigan shoreline in 8,500-acre Wilderness State Park. 


It doesn’t matter whether you’re out to push yourself to the limits on an extreme adventure or just taking the family out for a low-key bike or stroll, our Michigan Vacation Destinations offer the full spectrum of landscapes. From rolling, hilly terrain and mountain trails that will get your lungs burning to meandering lakeside paths to delight your inner slowpoke, you’ll find options for every age, skill and intensity level. 


Whether you’re a dedicated power boater with diesel fuel running through your veins or you prefer to harness the clean, crisp power of the wind, there are plenty of opportunities to leave the landlubbers bobbing in your wake. Hook up with a fishing charter, spend the day gliding along the shoreline on a majestic yacht, or get a group together for a dinner cruise.  


Who needs all that Vegas hubbub and heat when you can court Lady Luck just moments from the beautiful, breezy shores of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan? In addition to almost limitless table games, bingo, keno and slots, you’ll have your choice of Vegas-style entertainment venues and restaurants. If you’re here, you’ve already won.


Fact: no child of any age, from six to sixty-six, has ever uttered the words “I’m bored” while vacationing in Northern Michigan. It’s just not possible. Not with family-friendly attractions that range from adventure parks, water parks and arcades to haunted theaters, zoos, wildlife parks, mini golf and a “factory” where kids can stuff and dress their very own teddy bear.


Whether you’ve brought your own boat or you’re looking to hook on with one of the local charter companies, you’ll have countless opportunities to reel in your fill of salmon, steelhead, Muskie, lake trout, splake, norther pike, walleye, bass, perch and more. If you prefer to do your casting from dry land, find a spot along the Lake Huron and Lake Michigan shoreline or head out for one of the region’s many deepwater lakes. If you’re lucky, we might even share a few of our secret spots with you.  


Put your handicap to the test on any number of championship courses throughout the Northern Michigan region. From nine-hole executive courses to 18-hole championship layouts with woodland holes and beautiful views of the Straits of Mackinac, there’s a course for every skill level.


See how Colonial settlers carved a way of life out of the savage Northern Michigan wilderness and tour Michigan’s only original revolutionary war fort. Poke around historic downtown streets lined with shops, restaurants and beautifully preserved homes. Visit a working 18th century village or learn how sawmills operated over 250 years ago.


There’s no better way to experience Northern Michigan’s maritime legacy than by going on a Great Lakes lighthouse tour. For generations, these vigilant guardians of the coast provided safe passage for vessels from around the world. Today, the beautifully preserved structures offer magnificent architecture, stunning water views and a glimpse into the lives of those who stood watch. 


History comes alive in the diverse museums throughout Northern Michigan. Explore the region’s French, English and American heritages. Learn about the massive ships that plied their trade, and in some cases foundered and sank, off the shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Experience Native American culture, delve into the region’s military history or get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at 18th century logging and paper mills. 


See the Northern Michigan coast from a truly exhilarating perspective. Clip your harness into a parasail boat and take it all in as you’re lifted off your feet for a slow cruise high, high above the waterline. 


Did you know one of the largest waterfalls west of Niagara can be found in the nearly 40,000-acre Tahquamenon Falls State Park? At 50 feet high and over 200 feet wide, Tahquamenon Falls can viewed from the riverbank, a small island surrounded by five smaller falls or a rented rowboat (sorry, you’ll have to do your own paddling!). 


Whether you’re an intrepid outdoorsman or you prefer to mingle with wild animals from the comfort of a zoo, there are plenty of opportunities to walk and talk with the local wildlife. In addition to species from around the world at Garlyn Zoological Park, there are deer parks, bear parks and bird observatories up and down the shore. There’s even a pair of butterfly houses to get your heart all aflutter!


Raise your glass and toast the wineries and craft breweries that have attracted wine lovers and beer aficionados from around the country to savor a taste of Northern Michigan. Embark on a wine tasting tour at Mackinaw Trail Vineyards & Winery in Petoskey or quaff a locally brewed ale, lager or stout at one of several microbrews.


Here, on the shores of Lakes Huron and Michigan, you might come for the summer, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself staying for the winter. When the snow arrives, blanketing the shoreline and evergreen forests in a layer of fresh powder, the pristine landscape offers an exhilarating wonderland for downhill and cross country skiing, snowboarding, ice fishing, snowmobiling and just about any other arctic-inspired pursuit you can imagine. The smaller crowds mean more fun for the rest of us, just don’t forget your mittens.

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